Famous People Who Refused To Take The Covid-19 Vaccine

While Novak Djokovic made headlines for his absolute refusal to take the Covid-19 vaccine, he was not the only famous person to oppose the immunisation programme.

Novac Djokovic, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West

In the peak months of the Covid-19 pandemic, Novak Djokovic, the Serbian tennis player who currently holds the world No 1 position in men’s singles, made headlines when, in the run-up to the 2022 Australian Open, the 35-year-old was deported from the country as he had not taken his vaccination against Covid-19.

While Australian authorities exempted the Serbian tennis player, Djokovic faces a similar debacle still ahead of the US Open in August this year. Djokovic was unable to get to New York for the season’s last Grand Slam tournament in 2022, and he also missed the Miami Open and BNP Paribas Open because he never got the shots against the coronavirus disease.

Djokovic was not the only famous person to oppose the Covid-19 vaccine as many other celebrities have expressed their scepticism and hesitancy regarding the available data on the same. 

Here’s a list of celebrities who refused to take the jab:

Joe Rogan

Popular podcaster Joe Rogan was criticised last year for spreading misinformation about Covid-19 vaccination after he called it “essentially a gene therapy”. The broadcaster, who hosts a Spotify podcast where he gets celebrities to talk about a variety of issues, was accused of spreading lies about the vaccine. 

Rogan had criticised the American government and the CDC's approach to the pandemic and brought guests on the platform, some of whom aided the misinformation.

The podcaster later apologised in an Instagram video post, saying he was sorry to Spotify for having to face the heat of it all. He also said his goal was to get people with “different opinions”, reported Financial Times, admitting that he “doesn’t always get it right”.

Rob Schneider

A former Saturday Night Live (SNL) star, actor and comedian Rob Schneider made several controversial statements on Twitter and shared anti-vax memes when the rest of the world was trying to get their hands on the Covid-19 vaccine to return to normalcy. Schneider has been lobbying against vaccines since 2012. 

During the pandemic, the actor urged his Twitter followers to “just say no”, inaccurately called the Covid-19 vaccine an "experimental gene therapy", and even used hashtags like "2ndAmendmentIsForThis" to challenge the immunisation programme.

Novak Djokovic

Djokovic, the world No. 1 tennis player, who is currently tied with Rafael Nadal, has been opposing the need to be vaccinated since April 2020, as the pandemic raged. “I’m not vaccinated and I’m not planning to get vaccinated,” he was quoted as saying by and reiterated the same to several other media outlets.

Aaron Rodgers

In November 2021, in a chaotic unveiling, when NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers tested positive for Covid-19, it was revealed that he had not taken the vaccine. According to reports, it was found out that his initial claim of being “immunized” was a reference to a homoeopathic treatment purported to raise his antibody levels. Rodgers apologised for the confusion but did not specify if or when he planned to get the shot.

Kyrie Irving 

NBA player Kyrie Irving, who plays for Brooklyn Nets, had refused to get the shot and subsequently missed two seasons of the NBA in 2022. He was brought back to the team in December after many of his teammates tested Covid positive. The athlete has reportedly not taken the vaccine still and he is not allowed to play in New York due to the city’s mandate.


Offset is an American rapper, part of a group called Migos. In 2020, the rapper expressed scepticism and told TMZ that he does not trust it. During a Breakfast Club interview with the Migos, which also contained misinformation about vaccination, Offset reiterated that although he’s “not an anti-vaxxer”, he would like to wait.


American rapper Kanye West, who now goes by the name Ye, has expressed in the past that he was “extremely cautious” about the Covid-19 vaccine. In an interview with Drink Champs, in November 2021, he declared that he was not fully immunised but “half-ccinated” with only one shot. As a result, the rapper has been restricted for travel from many places. However, he has not commented on the matter since.

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj stirred the anti-vax debate when on the night of the 2021 Met Gala, the rapper declared she was not attending because she was not vaccinated against Covid-19. She had claimed to have known several side effects – including one of her cousins whose testicles had “swollen” after taking the jab and he had become “impotent” – saying that was the reason behind her hesitancy.

It is not clear if Minaj got vaccinated since but she did attend the Met Gala next year.